Pitchers started Day 5 with a base running discussion by Davey Lopes in the clubhouse at 10 a.m. No one is expecting pitchers to be base stealers but knowing how to take proper leads off bases, how to read defenses, taking an extra base, etc., can mean the difference between a W and an L.
Lopes had the same drill with catchers earlier in camp. He’ll conduct on-the-field drills with position players soon.
At 8:30 a.m., pitching coach Rich Dubee conducted a meeting with the nine catchers in camp. He along with Ramon Henderson, Mick Billmeyer, John Russell, Mike Compton, Rod Nichols, Gorman Heimueller and Carlos Arroyo have been meeting every a.m.
Idea is to get catchers to exchange information and learn every pitcher’s strengths, weaknesses, tendencies. Catchers need to know their pitchers inside and out.
Every day catchers warm up different pitchers (29 are in camp). The following day, each catcher talks about the pitchers they had: what pitches worked, what didn’t, release points, delivery issues, etc.
Tomorrow is a vacation day for this early morning meeting. It will resume the following day and continue for most of the spring.
“You’re going to be warming up pitchers and catching batting practice starting on Wednesday” explained Dubee. “We’ll schedule time when you aren’t catching to get in your BP time. Start out emphasizing fast balls and change-ups. Use signals as you would in the game. Repeat bad pitchers. Repetition is a way of correcting mistakes.”